Happy New Year — and one last one for 2021

Note, the lede is buried in this draft, my apologies, but I’m writing this under a time constraint. The point I’m coming to is why the DOJ has not indicted Rudolph Giuliani for crimes he appears to have committed in his capacity as Trump’s personal lawyer, several years ago in Ukraine (prior to his unethical behavior as Trump’s lawyer in post-election purely propagandistic lawsuits).

I recently found myself listening to what I thought was the opening presentation from the popular Mr. Trump’s second impeachment trial. I was looking forward to hearing the presentation, prepared by the excellent editors over at Lawfare who had a great podcast covering the Mueller Report and, not long after, the first impeachment, called The Report.

Lawfare did a great job boiling down complex issues, and condensing many hours of hearings into a clear and compelling hour or so, and I followed their great dissection of the Mueller Report and the first impeachment closely. I discovered they had a new season and I eagerly jumped in to hear everything said during the second impeachment, weeks after the January 6 riot when most of us were keen to make sure the instigator of a violent assault on democracy could no longer run for the most powerful position in the world.

It turns out Lawfare hadn’t covered the second impeachment at all, at least not on The Report. I found myself instead listening to their excellent presentation of the first group of impeachment managers laying out the case for conviction in the impeachment trail (well worth hearing) — over the former president’s plan to shake down the new Ukrainian president not only in the perfect phone call, but in the weeks leading up to it, when our ambassador to Ukraine was smeared, menaced and abruptly fired, and in the days and weeks following the perfect call, when the whistleblower report on the call was being buried by Barr, as a Russian army threatened Ukraine (who had already been granted military aid by Congress) and Trump refused release the aid or to meet with the president of our beleaguered ally until he announced a fake investigation into seemingly slimy bastard Hunter Biden, in order to politically hurt his father.

If their crystal clear laying out of the facts of Trump’s extra-legal meddling in Ukraine, to extract the promise of a propaganda coup, had been presented to a jury in a court of law, there is no question that a guilty verdict would have been returned. Even with Trump’s party’s refusal to allow witnesses or new evidence (and damning new evidence was coming to light daily), the facts they produced supported conviction for a conspiracy to threaten a false corruption investigation out of the vulnerable new president of one of our allies, seeking more foreign help in an American presidential election.

Now this is all urine down the old urinal and I’m not bringing it up to re-litigate any of that “purely political” stuff, here’s the buried lede.

What is laid out in the presentation is how Giuliani, acting as Trump’s PERSONAL lawyer, conducted official business for the United States, employed Trump donors Lev Parnas and Igor Furman (both on trial now) to work with corrupt Ukrainian power brokers (pro-Russian associates of Trump’s first campaign manger, pardoned felon Paul Manafort) to have President Zelensky announce a corruption investigation into the son of Trump’s perceived rival in the 2020 election — after ousting our longtime ambassador. The plot stinks a mile, as my grandmother used to say. A few month’s after Barr, Trump’s warrior gunsel, parachuted out of the looming insurrection, Rudy Giuliani’s home and office were raided by the FBI, records, phones and computers seized. Rudy’s two shady associates, Lev and Igor, Individuals 3 and 4, were both indicted (though for other crimes). Why is there no indictment against Rudy?

If you indict Rudy for doing the corrupt, illegal bidding of Individual One, for the benefit of Individual One, at the request of Individual One, how do you avoid indicting fucking Individual One, particularly now that he’s a private citizen? Hard to do, maybe impossible. I feel your pain, Merrick Garland, and I hope to heaven that you have a very good plan the Department of Justice is busy working on.

Happy New Year, everyone.

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